As hard as it is to believe, today is the final day of the first quarter of 2011.
How are you doing with those New Year’s resolutions? What? Have you forgotten them? Maybe you never made any resolutions.
Regardless, the first quarter of the year is complete and we are beginning the second.
Most organizations require a quarterly report. This report is an evaluation of our work. Corporate leaders want to know the facts and figures contributing to the success or failure of plans to reach projected goals.
Should it be any different for spiritual leadership?
How often do we examine the success or failure of plans to reach our goal(s)?
We need to make a quarterly report today. We need to know where we are in connection to the destination we set out to reach.
Evaluations are usually difficult. We must examine what we do not want to face and take an honest look at reality. They are necessary. Our integrity will be demonstrated and challenged.
However, in the end, a quarterly report will help us prepare for the next step in our growth and development.
The Extension Program of the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver is one segment of a large work involving multiple budgets. It is not uncommon to examine as many as 15 budgets from the various school in the program.
These budgets rely upon the financial contributions of numerous individuals and congregations all making sacrifices to keep the extension schools operational.
Every company depends upon contributions; physical, financial, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. Without the contributions made from each individual, success is hindered.
The development of our spiritual leadership hinges on what we contribute to the work. Each of the five areas listed play a vital part of what leadership must also contribute to maintain stability.
Take a moment and consider the contribution needed for the work where we are involved. Are we giving whatever it takes to contribute to those needs? Will our contribution make a difference?
When we contribute to the spiritual development of God’s kingdom, we know God will take what we have planted and make it grow.
Make a contribution today in leading someone to Christ.
I have been told developing a habit takes 21 days of consistency. There are good and bad habits.
Amazingly, bad habits are hard to break. At the same time, why does it seem so hard to keep good ones?
Aristotle is credited with saying, “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Spiritual leadership is about excellence. It will not come easy and it will not happen by accident. William Foster said, “it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”
Peter urged Christians to keep their behavior excellent among the Gentiles.
The word, translated excellence, involves conduct contributing to the salvation of others.
The habits we develop determine the conduct of our life. When we examine our words and conduct, are they contributing to the salvation of others?
Our answer may help us see why excellence is a habit worth developing!
One of my grandson’s favorite words is happy. At fourteen months of age, he walks around saying “happy, happy, happy.” He is pretty much happy all the time and this bundle of joy makes everyone around him happy.
You could say I am a proud grandpa, and you would be right. I love spending time with my grandkids. They make me happy.
Joy is an important and unique quality needed in leaders.
Paul understood this quality. He could sing praise at midnight while imprisoned for Christ. He wrote from prison to the church at Philippi “rejoice in the Lord always; and again I will say, rejoice.”
How could he face such adversity and have joy?
Paul’s faith was not in himself, but in a risen Savior. His hope was in a reward beyond all comparison to the sufferings of this life.
Spiritual leaders must have joy. Others must see this joy if we are going to lead them to Jesus.
We choose to be happy. However, we can only go around “happy, happy, happy,” when there is an inner joy surpassing the trials of this life.
Tying a string to our finger does not really help. Mental exercises are often prescribed to assist, but few follow through. The older we get the more difficult it seems to be just to remember.
What can we do to help us remember?
God gave 10 commandments, set up stones, established feasts, and sent prophets to help Israel remember.
Jesus left the Lord’s Supper as a memorial to help us remember the events surrounding our salvation.
The apostles wrote a number of letters to help the church remember.
One of the key words and thoughts to the book of 2 Peter is a reminder. Christians need to remember to grow, remember there are false teachers, remember the dangers of falling away, remember our purpose, and remember God will keep His promise.
Leadership is connected to this need.
The writer of the book of Hebrews instructs us to remember those who led us.
Certainly, there is a need for leaders to remember as well.
Remember there is accountability.
Remember souls are at stake.
Remember nothing is more vital to the development of God’s kingdom than leading.
Recently, I sat next to a friend as he described talking to his daughter on the phone. He described how it just melted his heart to listen to her voice as she said, “I miss you daddy.”
My wife has and continues to be dedicated to our family. She does not want to miss a moment in the lives of our children and grandchildren. She understands the value of each moment from the first word, first step, first day of school, first soccer goal, first date, and the birth of their first child (and the second or third).
Circumstances cannot always be controlled. There are times when we are separated from loved ones and we cannot help but think, what are we missing? Leaders should consider…
Are we missing an opportunity to help lighten someone’s load?
Are we missing an open door to greater success?
Are we missing a chance to study God’s word with a soul seeking truth?
Are we missing a once in a lifetime chance to share just a moment, a first?
Leadership is a God given task. We must make sure we do not miss anything.
Gentleness is often misunderstood. Translations may portray the idea as meekness, which adds to the confusion. The concept is generally seen as weakness.
However, this word carries the power of uniqueness in leadership.
Jesus said “come to Me and I will give you rest, for I am gentle and humble of heart.”
Christians are instructed to develop the quality of gentleness. Paul describes gentleness as part of the fruit of the Spirit and against such there is no law.
What is it about gentleness making it key to leadership?
The word carries an element of controlled courage. There was nothing weak about our Lord, nor should Christians be characterized as weak.
Jesus was gentle in standing before an angry mob making false accusations and He remained silent. He was gentle when condemned unjustly and made no defense. He was gentle when spit upon, beaten, mocked, and nailed to a cross without retaliation. And He did so alone.
Leadership often means being alone. The inappropriate attitudes driving the actions of opposition from within and without challenge the core of our leadership. The unique quality we need to develop and maintain is gentleness.